Do young adults want credit cards? More alternatives

We stated in 2016 that only 33% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 have a credit card. At the time, 62 percent of those aged 50 to 64 and 68 percent of people aged 65 or older held credit cards, along with 55 percent of people aged 30 to 49.

Our most recent information, gathered in Bankrate's December 2021 credit card features survey, revealed that 55% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 hold at least one credit card.

This rises to 73% of people aged 30-49, 78% of people aged 50 to 64, and 89% of people aged 65 and beyond.

Debit cards are very popular with Gen Z. But what are young adults to do if they want to buy something today but can't fully afford it because it's harder to establish credit and they are more wary of debt?

The buy now, pay later (BNPL) market has been a well-liked remedy and has been rapidly expanding. Those who are concerned about having an open-ended credit card debt are drawn to businesses like Affirm, Afterpay, and Klarna because they offer payback terms that are clearly specified.

They are occasionally even interest-free. According to Cornerstone Advisors, in 2021, 36% of Gen Zers and 41% of millennials used a buy now, pay later plan. But only 35% of Gen Xers and 18% of boomers did, respectively.

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